Mexican authorities arrest suspect in 2007 Sunnyside murder

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- A five-year-old murder case in the Lower Valley catches a break in Mexico after authorities there arrested the prime suspect wanted for killing Veronica Ayala.

Federal agents tell KIMA Eric Flores is in custody.

"My little grandkids come to see me: they look at her picture and tell me, my mommy was beautiful grandma, wasn't she?" said Ayala's Grandmother Ramona Vialon. "I say yeah, she was beautiful and she's still beautiful. But, she's in heaven and she's not coming back."

Emotions still run high in Veronica Ayala's family five years after her murder.

"It's been hard," said Ayala's sister thinking people forgot about her. And, we actually thought they weren't working on her case anymore."

Ayala's family has been waiting for any progress finding her killer and hold on to treasured memories.

"I just want to believe that she's with her boyfriend," said Ayala.

U.S. marshals confirm to KIMA that authorities in Mexico arrested Eric Flores, the prime suspect in Ayala's murder.

Deputy Marshal Jeff Marty says the details of Flores' arrest are limited, but his team is working to extradite Flores back to the U.S for prosecution.

Veronica Ayala was shot in the head at an apartment off of 6th street in Sunnyside.

Police say the gunshot rang through the apartment, where her six children slept in the next room.

Her children and other family members found her mother on the living room couch.

Ayala's youngest child was just a baby when her mom was killed.

"The poor kids are going through a lot," said Vialon. "They can't accept the fact, like me, that she's gone."

Federal marshals say extraditing Flores could take more than a year.
For Ayala's family, the arrest means there could finally be answers.

"That is going to make me happy, because she's going to finally, going to rest in peace," Vialon said.

Federal marshals say they don't know why police in Mexico arrested Flores.

Flores faces second degree murder charges for Veronica Ayala's death.